Alumnus Eric Williams graduated in 2010 and then enlisted in the Army. While in high school Williams participated in JROTC, drama and guitar club.
What have you done since high school?
“After high school, I enlisted in the United States Army as a religious affairs specialist,” Williams said. “I spent four years in the National Guard serving at Joint Forces Headquarters. I was then transferred to the Army Reserves and I served with 490th Civil Affairs for 2 years before switching to active duty. I am now serving with 2-10 Infantry Battalion at Fort Leonard Wood.”
What made you want to do what you’re doing now?
“What made me want to be a soldier, was my drive to protect,” Williams said. “If principle Contrearez is still there, you can ask him about how much of a handful I was by getting in fights that I had no business getting into (and a plethora of other stories). My senior year, I learned how to hone my skills into preventing fights rather than joining them.”
What did you learn or experience in high school that affected you later in life?
“The skills I learned in high school was being personable,” Williams said. “I know it sounds pretty useless compared to physical or technical skills others may have earned; But me learning how to interact with people of many faith, culture, and race backgrounds, let me to succeed in my job as a recruiter in the army as well as other jobs.”
Explain your job.
“My job in the army is called Religious Affairs Specialist,” Williams said. “I have many jobs requirements in that particular Occupational Specialty. One, I teach Suicide Intervention and Prevention. Two, I advise the commander on how World Religions has an impact on army directives. Three, I serve as the force protection for the chaplain. The chaplains don’t carry weapons in war zones, so I am their shield and weapon. Lastly, I set up and manage worship services of many different faiths.”
What are your plans for the future?
“My plans for the future are to take care of my wife and child,” Williams said. “I plan to have property of at least 25 acres and put a solar farm on it. Also I would like to run for political office once I have reached the proper age.”
What is your advice to current high schoolers?
“The advice I give to current high school students is to do everything, Choir, Band, Sports, Acting, Acadec,” Williams said. “Everything. Find what you love to do now, because once you get out of high school it gets really hard to maintain a job, social life, college, and trying to find something that’s creates a fire within you. Have fun. I’m not recommending any law breaking. Be crazy. Make memories. I look back in high school and I loved it. I was duct taped to flagpole earning the nickname, ‘flagpole,’ from the ladies in the front office and Mrs. Bashum. I streaked on the last day of the years junior and senior years being chased by some of the principles, planned and coordinated a morning rave in the cafeteria, set up a water balloon fight and water gun fight after school. I fought, I loved, I learned and here I am looking back with many, many fond memories. I found my passions and succeeding in life because I stepped out of my comfort zone. and I encourage students of any age to do that. If I could go back and spend 1 day as a high school student again with most of my classmates. I would. I would pay for that. it would be nothing but laughter and fun.”